Did you know that Halloween & La Castanyada are the same?

If there is anything we love from our community is the fusion of cultures. As we have children all over the world, we love to share this mixture of traditions with them every time we have an opportunity. 31st October is one of the best moments.
On this day we celebrate autumn is here, the harvest season ends and soon (we hope), winter we’ll bring us some cold. Nowadays it looks like Hallowe’en is being the real protagonist of this day, it has spread around the world and it is currently celebrated in over five continents.
But what about the origins of Hallowe’en? Do you know what they are? The roots come from world wide ancient celebrations relating to remembering the dead. Such festivals are held in many cultures throughout the world and honour and commemorate deceased family or members of the community.
You can find some other origins in a few traditional pagan celebrations of harvest, in the Gaelic festival of “Samhain” (a celebration of the dead returning to the world) or in the ancient Roman fiestas of “Pomona” and “Parentalia”:
  • Samhain seems to have given us the tradition of bonfires
  • Pomona gave rise to the popular game of “Apple bobbing” (taking apples from a tub of water using only your mouth)
  • the practice of “Trick or treating” comes from the tradition of “Souling” where special cakes were baked to be given to the poor, as a kind of prayer to save the souls held in purgatory.
  • Dressing up is said to have come from the belief that during this time the souls of the dead patrol the earth and have one last chance to return and seek vengeance for wrong doing so living don masks and robes to stop evil souls finding them at this time.

Our Halloween


LA CASTANYADA: catalan style

La Castanyada falls on 31st October like Hallowe’en and shares the same Celtic origins and ushers in the autumn harvest season. Traditionally, Catalan families gathered to eat panellets (traditional pastries made of pine nuts), roast chestnuts and boniato (white sweet potato). The symbol of La Castanyada is an old lady dressed in peasant clothes, wearing a headscarf, sitting behind a table roasting chestnuts fro street souls.
At St. Peter’s we love to gather all these traditions and celebrate 31st October in different ways. It is special day for everyone, full of costumes, souls, pumpkins, chestnuts and ghoulish decorations. But most importantly, it’s a day to open our minds to different cultures and traditions and to understand how, deep down, all of us celebrate similar things.Primary Celebration

Secundary Celebration

Happy Halloween and Feliç Castanyada!!!!!

Working in the lab


Science surrounds us. It is everywhere in our daily lives – all day, every day!

The importance of science in our daily lives may not be obvious, yet we make science-based choices all the time. Science is involved when we choose what to eat, what to buy and when we make decisions about our health-care.

Active, hands-on experiences, as well as research and problem-solving opportunities, build an understanding of what it means to know science. Learning about science develops our ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test our ideas, solve problems and apply what we learn. 

These are some reasons why we give such a huge importance to doing experiments in the lab. This week secondary students have been busy doing a practical chromatography experiment  and also sublimating dry ice into a gaseous form. To give you an idea of how they work in chemistry, here are some images of our students and a bit of information about what dry ice and chromatography are.

Chromatography
Chromatography is a technique used to separate pigments of a mixture. There are many different types of chromatography. While some forms of chromatography require expensive lab equipment, others can be performed using common household materials. You can use, like our students did, some spinach leaves for the pigments and alcohol and paper to complete the chromatography.

 

Dry Ice
Dry ice is the common name for the solid form of carbon dioxide. It’s called dry ice because it doesn’t melt into a wet liquid. Dry ice sublimates, which means it goes from its solid form directly to its gaseous form. Since it’s never wet, it must be dry! During this experience we added water in order to see the bubbles form.

L’art de contar històries

Vós, mestre, per què ensenyeu? 
Ensenyo per aprendre!
Pere Quart

Vet aquí una vegada un enamorat dels contes i el relat oral a qui li agradava ben sovint compartir històries i aventures mentre els seus alumnes gaudien i aprenien noves paraules, formes de comunicar i expressions natives que guardaven amb cura per tornar a fer servir fora de classe.

Segur que a hores d’ara heu endevinat que parlem del Sr. Alcobé, a qui l’art de contar històries li és innat com el de voler ensenyar. Per això, sovint regala contes a les seves classes i per això als alumnes els encanta que ho faci. La setmana passada va ser un d’aquells moments a 3r d’ESO i vam tenir la sort d’escoltar en directe una llegenda índia que conta la història d’un viatge d’iniciació i creixement. Us en deixem una mostra:

I vet aquí un gos i vet aquí un gat, aquest conte no s’ha acabat. Hi haurà històries que contar i aventures que imaginar tots junts. Hi haurà professors com el Sr. Alcobé amb qui ens asseurem a terra o a la vora del camí per aprendre plegats.

Wherever my ship is, the days pass happily with me

This week Classes 3 and 4 have been at L’Estartit living a great experience away from their day to day classes. Finally the weather was great and they could enjoy sailing, kayaking and snorkelling with friends in the best possible surroundings. Indeed, it has been an incredible way of introducing the children to their new classmates, strengthening the bonds between them.

For the children, staying two nights away from home together with their friends and teachers is an exciting adventure that helps them acquire self-confidence as they get to know one another in a different environment. Of course, it is even more exciting sailing on the open sea.

Once we came back from L’Estartit, we decided to work a little more in class so that all of us children and teachers continued learning together. You can see some of the compositions, drawings and creative works they have done connected to the Sailing excursion in the pictures and video posted on this entry.

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Our Creative Learning Spark

St. Peter’s Creative Learning Project was born out of a reflection about what we should understand by Education nowadays. “Show-and-tell” teaching practices form part of a bygone area and the image of a class full of students sitting in rows at desks, dutifully listening and recording what they hear has already become an ancient postcard to file away amongst old memories.
 
We live in a world where change is the only thing which is constant and adapting has become a need. Innovation and creativity is a must for everyone, and that includes our children, the next generation of minds, the ones who will change the world and transform it into whatever they wish.
 
Here are some answers we found when researching into creative projects:
 
What is creativity?
‘It’s something that has that little…spark. Like in art it has to be creative or it doesn’t mean anything. You can’t just copy other people…if you’re doing a picture or something, you have to put in your own little…your own little…spark, otherwise it’s not being creative it’s just doing what you’re told to do.’
‘It could be an idea that you’re trying to work on to make it better, or sometimes just putting things into your own words.’
‘Even learning French verbs could be creative if you used puppets or something… if you were allowed to put something of yourself into it.’

How does being creative make you feel?

‘I just feel like I’m free…like I’m free, you know? It’s relaxing. I do like…abstract things and I can do what I feel – it makes me feel better…it clears my mind. You don’t just have to do what you’re told…there’s a choice’

Is Creativity adding our own “spark” to what we learn or experience? Is it about freedom, choices, confidence and space to think and decide? These were some of the questions we had when we were designing our Creative Learning Project.
After one year, here there are some thoughts about what we think children were asking for while participating in their chosen creative activities:
  • Collaboration/sharing ideas helps.
  • Give us more open tasks: ‘don’t tell us exactly what to do.’
  • Give us ‘free’ time during the day to be creative; to ‘express ourselves.’
  • Give us more choice.
  • Give us confidence; help us ‘do things for ourselves’.
  • Give us ‘space to put ourselves into it’.
  • Don’t give us too much help.
  • There shouldn’t be a ‘right and a wrong answer’.
And these are also the reasons why we have decided this year to extend our CLP to Foundation Stage. You just have to have a look at them to understand it.

Gardening, cooking, drama can be creative. But also Geography, History, Maths, Physics, making jewellery or learning languages. That’s the point.  
 
However, our CLP is not the first and final step. We firmly believe that creative and innovative thinking must extend across the curriculum. We need to teach and learn by inspiring education with that little spark that makes us all who we are.